During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have found it harder to have what one HBR (Harvard Business Review) article has dubbed “casual collisions.”
When people were together in a group pre-COVID, these kinds of random, spontaneous, organic relationships just happened. During our year of social distancing, we’ve lost the spontaneity that was a hallmark of in-person gatherings.
As we emerge from a year of social isolation, casual collisions are going to be more important than ever as we regather and regroup.
When your group begins to meet in person again (it may already be doing this!), create casual collisions that help people make important relationship connections. There are four easy ways you can foster more of these collisions:
- Restart regular fellowships. As your group continues to meet post-COVID, don’t forget to restart regular fellowships. A monthly outting for lunch after church, a game night, an afternoon at the movies, or any number of other social events can create casual collisions among people.
- Begin “Tables of 8.” Social distancing restrictions may be lifting in some places, but in others there are restrictions still in place that limit the number of people who can meet. “Tables of 8” is a fun way to divide up your group into smaller ones. Place 4 couples, or a mixture of couples and individuals, into pods of 8 people. The group then decides (1) which person or couple will host a get-together each month (2) where the group meets – sometimes the group meets in a home, restaurant, park, or perhaps virtually. The main goal is to get together as a smaller group of eight people. This definitely helps increase those casual collisions so important to group life.
- Use more relational teaching procedures. You can increase casual collisions during your group’s Bible study by placing people in smaller “buzz groups.” Breaking the group into smaller ones allows people an opportunity to respond to a question, work on an assignment, or pray together. Many buzz groups max out at 4-5 people.
- Make Zoom work for you mid-week. Don’t forget to continue using everyone’s favorite pandemic meeting tool, Zoom. Scheduling a coffee break with your group members mid-week, or sharing a meal together virtually, are just two ways to create those casual collisions between Bible study meetings.